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On the potential for CO2 mineral storage in continental flood basalts - PHREEQC batch- and 1D diffusion-reaction simulations

Thi Hai Van Pham, Per Aagaard, Helge Hellevang
Geochemical Transactions 2012, 13 (1): 5
22697910
Continental flood basalts (CFB) are considered as potential CO2 storage sites because of their high reactivity and abundant divalent metal ions that can potentially trap carbon for geological timescales. Moreover, laterally extensive CFB are found in many place in the world within reasonable distances from major CO2 point emission sources.Based on the mineral and glass composition of the Columbia River Basalt (CRB) we estimated the potential of CFB to store CO2 in secondary carbonates. We simulated the system using kinetic dependent dissolution of primary basalt-minerals (pyroxene, feldspar and glass) and the local equilibrium assumption for secondary phases (weathering products). The simulations were divided into closed-system batch simulations at a constant CO2 pressure of 100 bar with sensitivity studies of temperature and reactive surface area, an evaluation of the reactivity of H2O in scCO2, and finally 1D reactive diffusion simulations giving reactivity at CO2 pressures varying from 0 to 100 bar.Although the uncertainty in reactive surface area and corresponding reaction rates are large, we have estimated the potential for CO2 mineral storage and identified factors that control the maximum extent of carbonation. The simulations showed that formation of carbonates from basalt at 40 C may be limited to the formation of siderite and possibly FeMg carbonates. Calcium was largely consumed by zeolite and oxide instead of forming carbonates. At higher temperatures (60 - 100 C), magnesite is suggested to form together with siderite and ankerite. The maximum potential of CO2 stored as solid carbonates, if CO2 is supplied to the reactions unlimited, is shown to depend on the availability of pore space as the hydration and carbonation reactions increase the solid volume and clog the pore space. For systems such as in the scCO2 phase with limited amount of water, the total carbonation potential is limited by the amount of water present for hydration of basalt.

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